110. Notes on a Telephone Conversation between Bundy and Ball, March 221

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Bundy said he had just received the Secretary’s outline speech and asked if Ball looked at the dispatch with it. Bundy suggested in paragraph 9, although it was a trivial point it might be worth passing on. It is not that there is no valid reason for distorting the detection network. It’s that when you locate it outside you need at least as much if not more inspection which is the whole thing that they have rejected. Bundy said he did not think we needed to defend this or worry about the detection thing because it is the inspection thing we are fretting about. He is not sure we’ve got that point across to Geneva as sharply as the President wanted. Ball said he had read some language to the President which has been telephoned to Foster. The language Ball read to the President was the following which Butch Fisher got over: “The essential element upon which we must insist is that there be an effective [Typeset Page 299] international system for assuring that the ban against testing is being complied with. This means that there must be an international system for distinguishing between natural and artificial seismic events. The April 18 treaty provided for such a system. Last week the United States and the United Kingdom made some modifications of that proposed treaty in a way calculated to meet Soviet objections. I have described these modifications. These proposed modifications were rejected almost immediately by the Soviets on the grounds that international verification was not necessary. This refusal to accept any form of international verification strikes at the very heart of our effort to guarantee the world against the resumption of nuclear tests. The key element in the position of the United States is that there must be effective international verification of the obligation undertaken in any such treaty. The United States will consider any proposal which offers such effective international verification. But the United States will never (and the President changed it to cannot) settle for anything less.” Bundy said that was his point and there was no need to press it.

Ball said he wanted to run through some other things which he had told him on the basis of Ball’s conversation with the Secretary tonight.

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Ball said first he had seen Gromyko at dinner tonight and Gromyko had shown interest in the modus vivendi which he had given him earlier this afternoon; that on the basis of this it was possible he would get down to serious talks on this he might stay longer and get home Monday evening, but that it might run on to Tuesday or Wednesday. He thinks that as far as Berlin is concerned there is no advance. He does not want anybody to get optimistic on the access route business. Gromyko made it clear to him that there is no advance. He thinks they are aiming at a Summit. He doubts very much that they are going to get anywhere. He is making his statement tomorrow on nuclear testing and will have in it a provision along this line. Ball said he had told the President all of this and that they are cabling the whole thing tonight so that we will have something.

  1. Geneva negotiating issues and concerns. No classification marking. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, Ball Papers, Telephone Conversations, Disarmament.